Geo-Trad Ink: Tattoo Talk with Levi Cruz
Levi Cruz pushes traditional boundaries with geometry
He’s wielded paint cans and tattoo guns for years and he’s mastering his own unique blend of two distinctly different styles of tattoo art. His work is clean, his lines are bold, his images are crisp and clear and, apparently, he always smells like gingerbread. Levi Cruz has everything a client should look for in a good tattoo artist. And his work speaks for itself.
How long have you been tattooing/where did you start?
I started my apprenticeship in January 2013 at this place called Flesh FX in Mentor, Ohio... so I’ve been tattooing for about 71/2 years now.
What drew you/got you into this art-form in the beginning?
I’ve always really enjoyed arts and crafts growing up. I started tagging walls in tunnels around town when I was 11 years old. I was really into graffiti art and murals before I started tattooing, but what really got me into this art form were just people in my ear saying I should “get a gun” and be a tattoo artist. So here I am today, doing tats with my tat gun. I love tattooing, though. It opened me up to a whole new realm of art I didn’t really know existed, and it really brought out what I never thought I could be capable of (as an artist).
How would you describe your style of art?
A cluster fuck ... I don’t really specialize in a certain style when it comes to tattooing. Since I’ve started, I’ve been doing a little bit of everything. Mostly because customers are picky on how they want their tattoo to look and I have to cater to their needs. That is the only downfall in this business, is trying to create someone else’s vision. If I had it my way, I would be happy to do geometrical and traditional tattoos for the rest of my existence. I’m pretty good with geometrical and traditional styles of tattooing. It’s the style I love to do the most! Maybe one day I can fall into the GeoTrad style.
Where do you draw inspiration from for original pieces?
I draw inspiration mostly from just being happy and content with life. When I’m sad or if my life is in turmoil I kind of shut down and don’t really create anything. And I get a lot of inspiration from other artists that I look up too.
What are some of your favorite things to draw/tattoo?
My favorite things to draw and tattoo are definitely roses and mandalas. Some people don’t like the tediousness of doing a Mandala, but I find them to be somewhat therapeutic
What is your favorite aspect of tattooing?
The opportunity to meet some really cool people! Both artists and clients. I’ve met some amazing people through tattooing.
And sometimes something really funny will happen. like one time, some dude came in the shop one day and wanted a cover-up. So we were like “ok,let’s see it” and this guy pulls his pants down and had a giant giant dick on his ass, and he said he wanted to cover it with a bong. Me and my co-worker completely lost it and almost died laughing. I kinda felt bad for this dude, because we laughed so hard I think he kinda got embarrassed and left. The list goes on...
Anything else you want people to know about you?
Women tend to quickly fall in love with me, because I smell like gingerbread cookies. If anybody else wants to know more , just come get tattooed!